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Agrium

(

AGU

) pushed the Chemicals industry higher today making it today's featured chemicals winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.1%. By the end of trading, Agrium rose $1.38 (1.4%) to $96.32 on average volume. Throughout the day, 733,856 shares of Agrium exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 717,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $94.58-$96.56 after having opened the day at $94.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $94.94. Other companies within the Chemicals industry that increased today were:

Amyris

(

AMRS

), up 5.8%,

Braskem

(

BAK

), up 5.4%,

H.B. Fuller Company

(

FUL

), up 3.9% and

Ceres

(

CERE

), up 3.5%.

Agrium Inc. produces, retails, and distributes the crop nutrients, crop protection products, seeds, and agronomics primarily in North America, South America, Europe, and Australia. The company operates through two segments, Retail and Wholesale. Agrium has a market cap of $13.7 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 4.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 12 analysts that rate Agrium a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 7 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates

Agrium

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

On the negative front,

Lightbridge

(

LTBR

), down 9.1%,

Marrone Bio Innovations

(

MBII

), down 5.2%,

Valhi

(

VHI

), down 3.1% and

Chemtura Corporation

(

CHMT

), down 3.0% , were all laggards within the chemicals industry with

Westlake Chemical Corporation

(

WLK

) being today's chemicals industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the chemicals industry could consider

Materials Select Sector SPDR

(

XLB

) while those bearish on the chemicals industry could consider

ProShares Short Basic Materials Fd

(

SBM

).

3x UPSIDE POTENTIAL: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.